Manchester City are confident of completing a deal for Isco in the coming days despite Malaga digging their heels over the 21-year-old’s transfer fee, Goal understands.
Officials from both clubs will meet on Friday to further negotiate terms, with City keen to pay €23.5 million plus a further €11.7m in add-ons for the Spanish playmaker.
Malaga are thought to be determined to hold out for a greater lump sum for Isco, but sources close to the deal have indicated to Goal that the Premier League side believe an agreement is near.
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Reports from Spain earlier this week suggest he has spurned advances from Madrid, despite being told by Zinedine Zidane that he would be a key fixture in the first team should he move to the Bernabeu this summer.
However, City remain wary of a late move from the Spanish giants and are keen to wrap up negotiations shortly, with new boss Manuel Pellegrini a key attraction to the Spaniard after playing under him at Malaga last season.
The Premier League side have been monitoring the playmaker since late last year, as was exclusively revealed by Goal, but were made to wait until the summer to continue negotiations after he renewed his contract at La Rosaleda, increasing his €20.5m buyout clause to €35m.
The midfielder is one of six top-line summer targets earmarked by City sporting director Txiki Begiristain and chief executive Ferran Soriano, with Edinson Cavani, Thiago Alcantara and Diego Novaretti still on the club’s radar after they completed the signings of Jesus Navas and Fernandinho earlier this month.